Friday, January 17, 2014

Olympics Project: The Momentum Continues!

As I explained in my most recent post, my students and their families have really taken ownership of our Olympics project and they have been working on research at home.  More students came this morning with information to create their own blog posts! (You can view the latest student post here.)  I am looking forward to helping students share their learning and their enthusiasm for this project is really motivating for me!

In addition to all the great homework going on this week, we have also been working on research at school.  One of the students' inquiry questions was What sports are part of the Olympics?.  Using Excel, I designed a simple template for students to record their findings. (You can get the Excel editable version here or PDF version here).  Then, I added a link to the website to our Symbaloo home page.  (Symbaloo is a bookmarking site which I've found to be very kid-friendly. I use it to organize links that I want students to be able to access quickly, easily and independently!)

Working in pairs or groups of 3, students have been constructing knowledge of the Olympic sports.  By watching videos and viewing pictures on the sports pages, students are developing an understanding of each sport.  They are working together to record their findings using pictures and words.  They've been very engaged in their research so far, so my main roles have been: praising good work, giving research suggestions, providing "tech support", "listening in" to their conversations about each sport and asking questions to determine their understanding or to help them clarify their ideas.  It's been really fun to learn along with my students!  For example, we've talked about the difference between skeleton and luge (which I'd never really thought about before) and I learned what the biathlon event included while working with another group.

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